Securing Bafana a training facility

24 02 10

If one were to imagine the conversation between SA Football Association (SAFA) management and the principal of Sandown High School, I suspect it would sound a little like this if one were to hear only’s SAFA’s side of the chat:

SAFA: Hello Mr…erm…Principal, this is SAFA. Listen, we’re having trouble finding a place for our national soccer team to train ahead of the World Cup, and so we’ve decided your school’s soccer fields will be it.

SAFA: Mr Principal, yes, that is what I’m saying… our beloved team, praised be its name, will be based on Grayston drive so we need your fields to practice on.

SAFA: errm, well, yes, we *were* going to use the so-called high-performance Esselen Park facility but its….facing challenges right now.

SAFA: You know, challenges!!! No pool, no on-tap masseurs, no gold dust on our corn flakes. What does it matter, anyway? You should be happy that we’re spotlighting your school by setting up camp on your fields, so to speak. You will be able to say ‘I was there!’ when it’s over.

SAFA: What do you mean, ‘what about the pupils and their right to make use of school facilities’? Do you know who you’re talking to?? Did my boss not say that it was going to be ‘party, party, party’ when he took the helm? WERE YOU NOT LISTENING????? Where are we supposed to host our banquets if not your school hall? Where are Bafana players supposed to sneak marijuana cigarettes if not in the downstairs boys’ bathroom? Where’s your spirit, Mr … ahhh…Principal?

SAFA: I don’t see how your having to hold school classes would get in our way.

SAFA: Ohhhh, you mean the opposite? Listen, shut up, our minds are made up. There’s a McDonalds and a KFC in spitting distance from Sandown High School, and we’re not going to budge on this, you academic wanker. You’ve made me cross now. Because of this, I’m going to cancel Julius Malema’s planned motivational visit to the team and the matric girls. Good day!

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Things I see at my mother’s home

22 02 10

This is an egg shaker, a  muscial instrument  allegedly used to create a  rhythm. As you can see,    however, at my mother’s  home it actually sits in a  clean ashtray. The reason  for this remains elusive. I don’t think it’s because someone might want to shake out a tune will inhaling toxins, but one never knows, really.

This is a packet of goji berries propped up against a rack designed to prop up recipe books. Perhaps it’s a subtle suggestion that if one eats goji berries (which taste and look remarkably like dried cranberries, only more foul), one need not cook anything that requires more than one ingredient. I like that kind of thinking… perhaps I am my mother’s child, after all.


Kitty stew

18 02 10

I meant to blog more but didn’t for two reasons:

1) My time was wasted by doctors who didn’t keep appointments, and product managers who really just wanted to shoot the shit for hours instead of being productive.

2) I haven’t had a topic in mind.

But that’s alllllll changed! Today, dear reader, I bring you a tale of felines from Italy.

A 77-year old cooking show host, Beppe Bigazzi (I kid you not),   said that he had eaten cat stew and then offered the recipe.

“I’ve eaten it myself and it’s a lot better than many other animals,” he said.

Unfortunately, this all coincided with National Cat Day in Italy. Apparently its illegal to try cook a cat in Italy … a deed punishable by up to 18 months in prison.

I was asked if I would eat my cat, Morticia, if I were starving. When I hesitated, the person pointed out that my cat regularly tries to eat me alive, so I should afford her the same respect. Indeed, why not?


‘An Education’ is a wonderful thing to avoid

15 02 10

The Colourful Canine and I saw the movie, ‘An Education’, this weekend. In a most remarkable turn of events, this movie has been nominated for three Academy Awards this year. This British movie is billed as a ‘coming-of-age drama’ which

‘narrates [the lead character] Jenny’s metaphorical ‘education’ in the wider sense of learning lessons about life. Yet it obviously also deals with her education in the narrower, literal sense of the word.’

Put delicately, this was a fucking awful movie.

Seriously, as bad as Mugabe.

I would give it a zero out of 10 if it weren’t for Emma Thompson’s tiny role as the anti-Semitic, kind of nuts headmistress, who uttered the hilarious line, “The Jews killed Our Lord!" As a result of her two scenes, the movie earned a solid 0.5 out of 10.

The lead actress was someone called Carey Mulligan, who should never again be cast in anything barring Plaster of Paris, and then only if it keeps her out of movies for the rest of her life (or mine). Awful actress, irritating and utterly unbelievable as an anything other than a so-called Audrey Hepburn look-alike.

Peter Sarsgaard played David, the older, allegedly good-looking man who seduces Carey Mulligan’s character, Jenny, with her parents’ permission. As the Colourful Canine remarked, this guy was creepy from the word go. There was nothing vaguely romantic about Jenny’s and David’s relationship. Their weekend in Paris, filmed with all the requisite posing and pouting and running up stairs to the sound of 60s French music, was banal and would have been amusing if it were a parody.

If only a few more Oscar categories could have been added to the list this year, as this movie would have been a shoo-in for the following prizes:

Movie scene that was meant to be humorous but was actually horrifyingly disturbing: David’s decision to produce a banana while in bed, to get Jenny’s messy virginity out of the way before using his penis.

Movie that neglects to really interrogate the messages it makes a big deal of gesturing towards: Jenny’s realisation that an Oxford (or any) education for a woman is really *only ever* necessary if that woman has been dumped by a man who was going to provide financially for her.

Movie most heavily reliant on stereotype: There is no other option but for Jenny’s excellent, pretty but obviously lesbian and alone English teacher, to be dull and gay – the ultimate threat of female education. There’s no other way to be an educated woman. There’s no other way to be gay.

The only lesson that can be drawn from the movie is not to get into cars with strangers. See anything other than this movie, please. Watch a marathon of ‘Harold and Kumar’ movies; watch home movies of your great aunt and uncle’s trip to Pakistan in 1970; watch a three-hour instructional video on crocheting.

Just don’t watch ‘An Eduction’.


New signs

12 02 10

I do so enjoy signage, which is why Engrish.com is in my top 10 list of favourite Website.

This particular picture is not nearly of the same standard as those offered by this tremendous Website, but did manage to make me stop, stare, wonder and postulate a little bit.

Offered as an option on an ATM I used, this picture apparently depicts an option entitled ‘Beneficiary Maintenance’. The graphic apparently features the universal icon of a human being (the stick figure) and a spanner. To me, however, it looks like a baby and a spanner. No matter, either way, how exactly this relates to maintaining the beneficiaries listed in one’s banking profile is just a little bit beyond my imagination.

Let’s see:

A baby + a spanner = organising who you pay

????

Ok, wait, I think I’m getting this:

object 1 (animal, mineral or vegetable) + object 2 (item designed to inspiring some sort of action) = explanation of action

I therefore propose the following icons be implemented globally to denote the following actions:

  • · Potato + telephone = poisonous gas
  • · Aardvark + toaster = line dancing hotspot
  • · Elvis Presley + bottle opener = toilet
  • · Garden gnome + bicycle = open-pit mine
  • · Toupee + step ladder = rabid dogs in area

I expect the universal signs for poisonous gas, line-dancing hotspots, toilets, open-pit mines, and rabid-dog-infested areas to be taken up immediately. I greatly look forward to seeing my fine mind’s work made manifest.


Uncivil society

10 02 10

I attended a briefing about how ready SA is to host the 2010 World Cup, and I think it’s safe to assume that SA’s civil service has ensured that no other country or person throughout the world could ever dream of/have dreamt of being as ready to host the event as we are. Not Germany. Not Jesus. No-one is more prepared and that is that!

My favourite quote of the day was by one civil(ish) servant who declared, “Before, during and after the event, most civil servants will be at work.”

That’s just marvy.

I’m glad to know that only a minority will be receiving their salaries for not being at work.

What a load off.

I’ve therefore decided that before, during, and long long lonnnnnnnnnnnng after the tournament, some of my brain will be at work. Ninety per cent of the rest of it will be on a Caribbean beach drinking Pina Coladas, while the remaining 10% will devote itself to devising intricate revenge strategies for those who wrong me.  Some of these plans may involve having the wrongdoers walk over holes cunningly covered with leaves.


Beware the irresponsible pharmacist!

08 02 10

As I made my way to meet the pals for a movie (Up in the Air) and supper on Saturday night, I happened upon this sign proudly displaying the name of the pharmacist on duty within the shop. What distinguished this apparently ordinary announcement from others was the fact that this specific allied medical practitioner was labelled a ‘Responsible Pharmacist’ which, of course, left me asking myself if that store sometimes left an irresponsible pharmacist in charge.

How might an irresponsible pharmacist act, you might ask? Would he/she:

  • · Dispense sugar tablets instead of birth control to customers he/she did not like?
  • · Give calorie-rich meal supplements to the obese?
  • · Suggest cleaning an open wound with hydrochloric acid and rubbing in jam to seal it?
  • · Encourage random amputation of toes, fingers and limbs to sort out persistent headache?

Extending this idea to his/her private life, might the irresponsible pharmacist:

  • · Stick a stainless steel knife into his/her toaster in order to extract the charred bread?
  • · Drive down Louis Botha avenue without vehicle insurance?
  • · Leave his/her pre-teen children to babysit themselves with the strict instruction not to pour boiling oil on themselves when roasting themselves a chicken for dinner?
  • · Eat a meal from a hospital canteen the day of his/her wedding?
  • · Forget his/her spouse’s birthday?

Ah yes, the life of the irresponsible pharmacist does sound trying. Perhaps it’s better for this chain of pharmacy/toiletry shops to opt for hiring the more responsible of the pharmacists; those other types are just naughty.